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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  December 17, 2009 2:00pm-3:00pm EST

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that's gone to ayatollah khomeini, richard nixon. they took some pretty good shots. but it was said he was after all the best crisis manager we had at the fed, the key central bank to get us through the crisis 14 months ago. >> here is the thing, hampton. one of the viewers e-mailed me and said, what do you do give the firefighter an award for putting out the fire he started. >> that is one of the criticisms. >> it's one of the criticisms but it's misplaced. ben bernanke was not the only one who made mistakes. we heard that from the senate banking committee from the likes of senator warner on the democrat's side and senator corker on the republican's. there is enough blame to go around for the whole setting the stage for the financial crisis. in some cases it is bipartisan going back serial administrationing and frankly back several decades in the seeds that were planted to set the stage for the crisis we've
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been dealing with for the better part of last year. >> it's true. he was one of the architects that set the stage with the loose money policies that created the housing bubble. we're going to talk about that more. hampton pearson, thank you for joining us. >> let's bring in independent senator bernie sanders from vermont. i know you say you don't think ben bernanke should enjoy a second term heading up the nation's central bank. can you explain your rational? >> i think the answer is pretty obvious. one of the main functions of the federal reserve is to make sure our financial institutions are safe and sound. and i think you have to be blind to believe that that, nfc, had occurred under mr. bernanke's watch. he failed at that job. furthermore, since the bailout, he had the chance to do things to protect ordinary americans. he could have demanded bailed out banks provide money, low interest loans to small businesses. he could have demanded that credit card interest rates not
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be 25 or 30% but that they go down significantly. he could have agreed that it is absurd that trillions of dollars lent out to financial institutions without the american people knowing who these institutions were. he could have named that. >> senator -- go ahead, i'm sorry. >> no, go ahead. >> one of the biggest complaints is he was one of the architects in the early part of the decade along with chairman greenspan who created a policy of loose money that allowed the housing bubble to inflate. a lot think he's not going to tighten the policy in time to not have the same bubbles happen again. what can he do to make you more confident to know he's going to put the brakes on this when the time comes? >> look, the answer is for many reasons, some we just discussed. i don't have a lot of confidence in mr. bernanke.
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he's smart, hardworking, a nice guy. i think we need a new wall street. a wall street that doesn't exist as an island to itself making huge amounts of money for its ceos. and we need a new fed to tell wall street they have got to invest in the productive economy so we create decent paying jobs in america. do i think ben bernanke, who is wall street's guy, is the man who is going to change the nature of wall street? i certainly do not. >> he's an academic, a guy who studied the economy. it's not as though he was like hank paul son, a product of wall street. >> that's true. why don't you go to all of the major financial institutions, see who they believe they would like to see staying on as the fed. they will all tell you ben bernanke. ben bernanke is wall street's guy. i'm not saying he worked there but he's there guy.
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>> we've interviewed people who were strong supporters. i want to switch gears because you became a central figure in the health care debate when senator coburn of oklahoma demanded your amendment be read into the record on the house floor. you blew up about that, said they were stalling. i'm curious, is there a better way of going about passing health care reform. if you went to the senators and said, all right, let's vote on the antitrust exemption. how many by a show of hands believe insurance companies should keep antitrust exemption pass or fail. do you think that's a better way to go about it? >> i think you make a good point. the answer from the beginning, it's terribly confusing to those of us in congress, let alone the american people, that you had three separate committees in the houseworking on it. you had two separate committees in the senate. you had a gang of six within the financial committee, all of which is enormously confusing.
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do i think we could have proceeded in a much better way? i do think we could have. something that was maybe less complicated, simpler, not a 2,000 page bill. the answer is yes. i should tell you when mr. coburn demanded my legislation be read, what that legislation was in my view is the only way that we are ever going to provide comprehensive universal cost effective health care to all americans. that is doing what every other industrialized country does. it's a medicare for all program which says we can't waste hundreds of billions of dollars for all of the beaurocracy that the private insurance companies engender in their search for outrageous profits. >> senator sanders, thank you. we appreciate you joining us and sharing your views on mr. bernanke and health care reform. >> several economic figures out today. >> including snapshot of the unemployment figure. workers filing for jobless
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benefits rose. >> new unemployment claims climbed by 7,480,000, worse than economists expected. >> treasury department backing out of plans to sell 34% stake in citigroup at least now. that's after investors responded tepidly to a massive stock offering. the government says it plans to sell the entire stake next year. >> let's look at how the markets are trading. the dow jones industrial is down 97 points. s&p not doing a lot better on a percentage basis, down 9 points. >> if you've been waiting to ship -- are you done yet? i did it last night with one click -- 19 clicks. this is the last day to have them ordered with standard
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shipping. about 700 online retailers are offering free shipping. man, i waited one day. >> i assume that's why you did it last night, free shipping. >> i did it because i started to panic about my knees and nephews not getting their presents on time. here is the catch. a lot do require a minimum purchase. toys "r" us, jcpenney and adid as. a new consumer reports survey those 40% of people -- >> haven't started? that was you yesterday. that attributed to what amounts to a game of chicken between retailers and consumers. savvy shoppers are waiting for prices to drop. you were procrastinating. stores are holding firm as long as they can before slashing prices significantly. >> jane wells covering retail for cnbc joins us from los angeles. >> i was looking for a deal on christmas sweaters, looking for that, jane. >> i'm still waiting.
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you better get online and order it for me. >> you can get walmart.com the zhu zhu pet for $8. it may peak because of shipping deals running out that could shift the power base to brick and mortar because people still have to buy. consumer report says 40% of us haven't started. only 12% of us have finished. american express says people are waiting for prices to come down. the most amazing thing out of american express survey, one in ten plan to shop for christmas gifts in the after christmas sale. we're still expecting enough inventory though retailers have warned us there might not be. are prices coming down? we did several checks of several items that were at best buy, amazon, walmart, toys "r" us, with special prices on black friday, see what they are praised at now, 99% of the time prices have gone up since black
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friday. retailers have lowered prices on other things. what you're seeing is these rotating discounts now. can you always find something on sale but not everything on sale yet. we'll see what it's like in a week. >> wow, all right. jane wells, thank you so much. prices going up? >> $1 off a zhu zhu pet is not enough to coax me to buy. needs to be 50%. >> they are so cute. >> i'm still waiting. no. >> $8 for that? >> jane, how many of those are you hording? do you have like five in your purse? >> i have five in my purse. i'm goington craig's list shortly. free shipping. >> thanks, jane. coming up, call it a coincidence, i doubt it. turns out closer we got to financial collapse the more financial crime prosecutions dropped. more evidence the people who should have been protecting us were just asleep at the wheel. >> later james cameron's latest blockbuster breaking new ground.
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not because of the $400 million price tag. how "avatar" could change the movie industry forever. you're watching "it's the economy" reit here on msnbc. somewhere in america, there's a home by the sea powered by the wind on the plains. there's a hospital where technology has a healing touch. there's a factory giving old industries new life. and there's a train that got a whole city moving again. somewhere in america, the toughest questions are answered every day. because somewhere in america,
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welcome back to "it's the economy" on msnbc. by one estimate one-half workers are work. >> a detroit news analysis shows as much as 45% of the workforce has been affected when using a broader definition of unemployment. that includes people working part time and want to work full time and those who stopped looking for work. >> a bankruptcy judge approved $50 million in bonuses for those leaving lehman brothers. >> they asked for permission to
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pay bonuses to 200 ploy autos. lehman says the team has brought in more than $8 billion in cash and settled 17% of the contracts. the judge said the payments provide essential benefits for employees with a unique set of skills. >> serious financial crime plummeted as the nation headed towards one of the worst economic meltdowns in u.s. history. >> that drop in enforcement included everything from stock trading schemes to fraud aimed at individual consumers. joining us live is the writer of that article, "usa today" reporter. why are prosecutions going down? >> seems like there were a number of reasons for it. one was clearly and increased focus by federal law enforcement agencies on national security cases on domestic terrorism cases. and resources being diverted elsewhere. >> when you look at we have the numbers here, the fraud charges dropping. you had 65 bankruptcy cases now. that's a 45% drop from 2003. 63 corporate cases, 55% drop
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from 2003, 148 security cases, 17% drop from 2003. was there concern -- when you broke out these numbers was there a concern among the part of justice officials or the fbi that, yes, dropping the ball probably led things to get worse? >> the justice department and the fbi clearly acknowledged this happens. they vowed to fix it. they told the senate as much in a hearing last week. there is some -- i don't think anybody takes the view, and certainly not the justice department, that the financial crisis wouldn't have happened had they prosecuted these more aggressively. clearly prosecutions have a deterrent affect. the fact they didn't bring more probably emboldened some of the people who perpetrated the crimes we're reading about now. >> what's the solution? how do you turn this around? the answer it seems to me is throw more money at the problem. is that it?
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more publicity, more focus? what would you do? >> they seem to be doing all those things. there's clearly been a great emphasis in publicizing the cases they are bringing. they are also putting a lot more a little on this. for example, the fbi now has 2800 pending mortgage fraud investigations. the number of criminal cases filed because of those is clearly going to increase substantially. >> all right, brad. thanks a lot. we appreciate you coming in. >> any time. >> high credit card fees are leading americans to change their behavior. that story is coming up on "it's the economy." >> we're following big stories in the news including death of an nfl player for injuries he got while fighting with his fiance. >> a new jersey father arrives in brazil hoping to be reunited with his son after a bitter custody battle. his legal fight may not be over yet. you're watching msnbc. want color that shine?
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welcome back to "it's the
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economy." coming up the tiger woods saga giving rise to a financial product, reputation insurance. we'll tell you how it works. >> a look at other news stories we're following. police released 911 call after the cincinnati bengals receiver chris henry fell from the back of a pickup truck. >> we learned just a short time ago this player died from his injuries. north carolina police say chris henry fell during a domestic dispute with his fiance. she was driving a pickup. he jumped on and fell off the truck. he was taken to the hospital and later died of his injuries. he was 26 years old. in less than two hours the family of a missing mother of two in utah will speak out about their ordeal. 28-year-old susan powell was last seen nearly two weeks ago. police have labeled her husband a person of interest. they say he's not cooperating with them.
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>> we describe him as abnormal under the circumstances. this is not normally what we see happen from loved ones of a missing family member. but as far as what his reasons are, it's not appropriate for me to speculate. >> miguel, he did give them dna samples. in what way is he not cooperating. >> police say they are asking specific questions. joshua powell's responses have been very general, very vague. he hasn't been forthcoming with information. officers say his behavior is rather unusual. when somebody is missing a person, they come forward, offer as much information as they can. they are willing to sit down with police and talk to them as often as possible. that's not the case in this scenario according to detectives.
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on the "today" show, matt lauer asked his brother-in-law what he thought of his behavior. >> he's just very stressed, concerned, nothing more than that. josh is a different person, a different personality. i think controlling is a safe word to use but i don't think it should be overused. >> contessa, as you know, we have spoken to members of josh powell's family. they have told us they have not been in regular contact with josh powell since the disappearance broke. we've been to the house where family members thought he was saying. there's no one in the house. he's free to come and go but they say they are very interested in speaking with him soon. they want an in-depth conversation the next time he comes here. contessa, they do expect him to bring his lawyer with him. >> susan powell's dad wants officials to get the answers
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that will lead them to his daughter. they have called off the search for two climbers missing on mount hood. heavy snow grounded helicopters. rescuers say the possibility of avalanches make searching too risky. katie nolan and anthony vietti began climbing on mount hood and they never returned. it might be spring before they can recover these two climbers. the body of a third climber luke gullberg was found saturday. new jersey dad david goldman is in brazil now. he landed there a short time ago hoping to be able to bring his son home. goldman has been fighting an international custody battle over his son sean. sean's mother took him to brazil five years ago. she died without bringing him back. goldman has been fighting to retain custody every since. yesterday a court ordered goldman to be reunited with his son by tomorrow. sean's brazilian family filed an appeal. doctors in brazil are preparing for extremely delicate surgery of take a look at this x-ray
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picture. a two-year-old boy has more than 40 sewing needles stuck inside his body. he's airlifted to the hospital. the stepfather is in custody. he confessed to sticking them in the boy. a woman asked him to do it for a black magic ritually. this year the queen of england took the christmas train for a trip to england. she came ten minutes before the scheduled departure and paid 45 pounds for the first class ticket. she was accompanied by her security officer. this isn't the first time she's taken the train. she's used public transportation in recent years. do you think she's going to take the subway in new york. >> that's the big thing people like to do, come to new york city and get on the subway, white not the queen. chances of a health care bill clearing congress by christmas getting slimmer by the day. coming up we'll talk to a
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senator about the conflict in his party over health care. big box office gamble. it cost nearly $400 million to make. will it pull in that much more in the boix. you're watching "it's the economy" right here on msnbc. you could buy 750 bottles of water. or just one brita faucet filter. - ( plinks ) - brita. better for the environment and your wallet. - ( plinks ) - brita. "o" is for objectivity. one of the basic principles of td ameritrade. it means you help investors... you don't just sell them. it means no hidden agenda. td ameritrade always has...always will... put the investor-- you--first. that's how they work. that's how they deliver objective investing help. that's what td ameritrade stands for. what does your investment firm stand for?
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economy," contessa brewer here. >> former dnc chair howard dean is on day three of saying lawmakers should kill the bill and start over. listen what he said on "morning joe." >> the fact of the matter is, i wish this bill were a better bill. i think we need health insurance for americans. i'm still a huge supporter of the president and a huge supporter of those senators that are upset with me. the fact is this has become an insurance company's bill with the loss of public option, loss of medicare, this bill does more harm than good. >> white house adviser david axelrod called into the show
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later on to offer response. >> i saw his piece in the post this morning, and it is predicated on a bunch of erroneous conclusions. >> and this just into us for nbc's kelly o'donnell senior aides to nebraska nelson saying he's not prepared to be the 60th vote needed to pass the reid health care bill. senator nelson said a proposed compromise he studied does not ensure federal standard barring public support for abortion would be in the bill. without further improvements nelson says the compromise is not sufficient. >> joining us to talk about all this is a democrat from delaware. it's good to have you here today. >> thanks, ladies. >> when we're talking here, senator, about ben nelson potentially making or breaking health care reform, if he says, yeah, i'm willing to let this die on my insistence that funding for abortion be
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strengthened, your reaction? >> for a number of years democrats hoped we'd have 60 votes. with 60 votes you can break a filibuster and move through all kinds of legislation. there's an old adage, be careful what you ask for. we have 60 votes, but now any person can be king or queen and decide whether we go forward or not. a thoughtful person, conservative democrat. our plan is to work with him and meet concerns and concerns of a lot of us. i'm not interested in providing federal funding for abortion, the law of the land, no funds for women except for rape or incest. what we tried to do in the legislation, we didn't get it quite right, tried to get closer to that but i think we did. >> what do you do about that. that's something we've been talking about a lot on the show lately when one person can hold the whole system hostage. what would you negotiate?
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what would you be willing to give. >> another senator, also a pro-life democrat has worked on language to make it very clear we have a electronic what we all call conscious portion of the bill so that providers for health care and hospitals don't have to provide abortions if that's something that's against their will. so we're looking for a way to meet the concerns, the legitimate concerns that have been raised. there's some people that simply adopt want women to have abortions of the law of the land says a woman has a right to abortion you believe the unborn child she carries is viable without any kind of outside of the womb. that's been the law of our land for a long team. some people basically want to use health care legislation to sort of change, turn that on its head and to take us away from the woman's reproductive rights. this legislation shouldn't be focused on that issue but it is. >> so senator, let me ask you, if a mother is making dinner, a soup for a bunch of people sitting around the table and she asks each person, which ingredients do you want in the soup and tries to get consensus
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on every single ingredient, the soup would never get made. >> it would also taste horrible. >> it probably would. how come you guys are trying to make soup out of health care reform. why not go ahead and say, all right, we know we need to overhaul in the insurance industry. who is for taking away antitrust exemption for the insurance companies and let those senators go toe to tow with the other senators and say yes or no. do the same thing for pre-existing conditions, do the same for who should be able to get a subsidy from the federal government. why not take it piece by piece. >> we've done that. almost everything you mentioned is in the bill. all the democrats, a lot of republicans support that. what i've been focusing on, finding out what works to provide better health care for less money, tending coverage to people that don't have it and do that one of the things we know works, create a large purchasing pool, we have one for federal employees, federal health benefit plan. 8 million people, we get not
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cheap but a lot of competition from private insurance companies, low administrative. we're taking that idea, putting purchasing pools in every state. there's actually so much we agree on in the bills that's good. >> with that being said, if you have no medicare expansion, if you have no public option, as the things we know about the legislation now -- again, it's not a cohesive piece of legislation that we can really call a bill at this point, the plan as it stands right now, would you vote for that? do you think that bends the cost curve down? >> yes, it does. we not only -- we're going to stand up something called an exchange in every state. folk, health insurance people have to compete for our business. people in all the 50 states will use competitive forces to do that. going to take some of what we do with the federal plan, national plans available for people to
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purchase on the exchange, over the internet in their own states. harness competition like we do for federal employees. people said why can't you have health insurance like you. we're going to try to give them that opportunity. >> real quick before we go, what do you think of what howard dean is doing? >> howard and i were governors for many years. i don't think howard has read the bill. i think he and i would go through it together and he'd find a lot of stuff he likes and agrees with, improve the quality of health care, outcomes, rein in cost. it's not single payer, which he wants, it's too much good to give up. it will be another 15 years -- if we don't get the job done this time, it will be 15 years before we try again. >> senator carper, thanks for joining us. bank of america appointed a new ceo. >> brian moynihan joined bank of america in 2004. he'll face some daunting tasks
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as ceo including juggling regulatory investigations into the bank's 2008 acquisition of merrill lynch. >> homeowners who borrowed money from citigroup and can't pay it back can stay home for the holidays. citi has decided not to be the grinch. it suspended foreclosures and evehicles for 40 days for 4,000 borrowers during the season. citigroup caught a break itself, $38 billion tax break from the irs. what goes around comes around. see? the end of an era at this year's super bowl. >> cnbc confirmed pepsi will not ties during the big game, ends a 23-year run. the company wants to focus on a marketing effort online. it would not say how much it spent on last year's super bowl ads but it bought several minutes. >> does "avatar" mean overpriced? depends how ask. the follow-up to the highest grossing movie ever, the titanic cost between $200 million and
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$400 million to make. >> will it pay off at the box office? julia, i understand you actually talked to james cameron about how much this movie cost. what did he say? >> he realized big blockbuster movies are based on toy, like spider-man or "star trek." he acknowledged the movie was experien expensive. he said that's what he does, he makes successful expensive movies. here is what i had to say. >> we went in knowing it was expensive. i think that's what fox expects me to do. there's a brand association between me and that kind of epically scaled filmmaking. i think that's what the fans want. >> it's worth noting that this movie is expected to do about $80 million at the u.s. box office this weekend. if we look back at "avatar," over 12 years ago that movie did less than $30 million opening
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weekend in the box office but went on to gross more than any other movie since that or before then, $1.85 billion at the box office. this could be a movie that performs over a period of time. >> julia, you watch all these things very closely, the big -- the tag line on this is it's going to change the way movies are made forever. are you buying that? >> well, i think there is some technology behind the movie that's different. one thing he does, he moves it between live action and computer-generated very seamlessly all in 3 diminishing. he develops a new camera, 3d systems for this movie. yesterday james cameron told me people like steven spielberg and peter jackson are already using his technology in their movies. it might be 3d innovations stars take for granted. he actually developed new cameras for use in this film. seems like they will continue moving forward rainfall here is the thing, julia, in a lot of places across the country, there are no 3d movie theaters, not
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imax. theaters are not equipped. if this is changing the trend in hollywood, what happens to all these community movie theaters? >> right now this movie is going to be on about 3,3d screens, which isn't terrible. it's in about 2,000 3d theaters. if it's a big hit, more 3d theaters will be rolled out. it's been slowed by the financial crisis and credit crunch. this will help put more theaters in 3d. in another year when we see another dozen or two dozen, big movies in 3d, everyone across the country will be able to have 3d at their local theater. >> thank you so much. coming up hillary clinton arrives in copenhagen for the climate summit. her boss is headed there today. can either of them make headway in a contentious debate. fighting back against rising rates and falling credit limits. this is "it's the economy" on msnbc. green beans.
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president obama leaves in just a few hours to attend the end of the copenhagen climate summit. earlier secretary of state hillary clinton trying to give a boost to stalling talks. she announced the u.s. was ready to help poor countries fight global warming. >> the united states is prepared to work with other countries towards a goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion a year by 2020, to address the climate change needs of developing countries. >> in the meantime china says it's willing to give details about efforts to control carbon emissions. u.s. has been demanding verification. >> they say we promise to do it, but we're not going to put it in writing. it might be changing. how is this for bah humbug.
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>> more than 1,000 toys taken at a toys for tots warehouse. >> good news, communities are stepping up to replenish those lost donations. >> that's terrible. consumers frustrated with credit card changes and conditions are taking action. >> they are just fed up with credit card companies lowering limits and raising interest rates. carmen, there doesn't seem like a lot you can do if you're hamstrung by your credit card company. what action can you take? >> here is what happened. more than half of americans have seen changes to their credit cards. i know you and i have had this happened. we've had rates lowered, interest rates raised and credit limits lowered. what are consumers doing? well, actually they are voting with their fee. 55% of consumers are using their cards less. they are still using it but using it less.
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27% have stopped using the card completely. 12% have closed their accounts. 9% have applied for a new line of credit to use. 8% have transferred their balance to a new card. so it's interesting. i actually expected the numbers to be a little bigger in certain areas. so spending less is very smart. if it's a very expensive card you shouldn't use it at all. >> what's the best action to take. if you're worried about managing your credit down the road and you want your credit to stay high. the temptation is to cut the credit card in half. that's not always the best option. >> you can cut the plastic in half. you do not want to close the act unless there's a giant annual fee. if you don't, you don't want to close your account that's going to take a hit on your credit report, especially if you have a long credit history with the card. just put the card away, cut it up if you want but leave the card open. really vote with your feet. surf your balance elsewhere if you have to keep the balance. if you have a card with a lower
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rate, move the balance to that card. we know in february things are going to be solid. card acts will go into effect. your terms will be set in stone. however up until then credit card companies can still change your rate. you've got to stay on top of this for the next six weeks. >> all right. thank you, carmen. what do you do when your celebrity pitchman implodes. coming up, how insurance hopes to prevent potential damage. >> i can't wait to hear how this works. you're watching "it's the economy" on msnbc. do you need reputation insurance? >> no. do you. >> well, maybe. essential nutrie? not long. in fact, green beans lose half their vitamin c in a week. that's why green giant freezes them within 8 hours to lock in nutrients. ho ho ho green giant i just want fewer pills and relief that lasts all day. take 2 extra strength tylenol every 4 to 6 hours?!?
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the house has passed a $154 billion job creation bill. >> passed yesterday without any republicans voting for the plan. the bill includes $27 billion for construction projects, $41 billion to extend federal jobless benefits of the senate
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is not expected to take up the jobs until next year. >> good news for those of us that spend a lot of time on blackberries. >> panic. have you been suffering from slow devices? they have managed to clear up the problems causing a delay. it's continuing to investigate the cause. companies say users were still able to make phone calls, browse the internet and send and receive text messages. there was some kind of problem because everybody at cnbc was panicking. >> i thought i was unpopular. california surprise for a california toy distributor. the company bought 440,000 tiger woods model figures a month before thanksgiving. at first they were really selling. in case you didn't hear, tiger had a minor car crash and huge in fidelity problem. now they are shipping out hundreds of these figures each day a cost of 10 bucks, 20 bucks
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each. >> his wife is buying them and running them over with her car. i think that's what it is. >> interest. the action figures might be popular. but the real life tiger not so much. >> a new nbc "wall street journal" poll only 15% say they view him positively. 42% say negatively. back in 1997, his positive and negative rating was 76 to 2. when it comes to golf, people still want him to win. 33% said they would root for him, 16% they wouldn't, nearly half says they don't care. >> that's me. count me in the 48%. bloomberg out pga merchandisers like nike will lose $220 million or more thanks to tiger's transgressions and even more the fact he's not playing golf. >> maybe they could use a little reputation insurance. a risk management firm just launched.
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style writer for "the washington post." how does this work exactly? >> the way they have it planned and they haven't introduced it yet. a company with a big-time endorser like tiger comes to this brokerage firm and says we'd like to protect ourselves in the event something like this happens. if it happens they have an insurance policy that pays for lost sales, lost advertising fees. >> say the celebrity involved has a big scandal that come in sides with a big drop in the economy. how do they go and put real dollar figure on what tiger woods phase means to accenture. >> that's one of the challenges writing this kind of policy. insurance companies face this all the time. you don't really know if it's the economy that made your sales drop or the scandal that made the sales drop. that's what you argue over when you write the policies. you have to define the period of
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time, the scandal, what the bad pr is. then you have to hash it out in the fine print of the contract. >> it seems like it would be almost impossible to figure out what price would be. we heard about policies where someone ensures their legs because they have a fabulous pair of legs. easy to imagine if something happens what that would cost you. so many different scenarios, a mild scandal, huge scandal. >> cheating scandal, doping scandal. really, wouldn't it make sense -- like say david letterman, who is both a celebrity and an industry himself or oprah winfrey. which are you ensuring, your business or yourself? >> if i hired oprah winfrey to endorse my company i as the insurance policy would buy the insurance policy. if something terrible happened to oprah and my sales dropped as a result, and you could actually document that lost sales, then my insurance policy would pay off. you have to define the period of time. have you to define the scandal
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and you'd have to show your sales began to drop. >> so the other huge problem, of course, i'm also thinking about the cheater in these kind of instances is you would buy the policy and do out and create some sort of scandal or be in cahoots to do something like that so you could collect on it. there's all kinds of problems with this. is this likely to take off? >> they think it is because of the following reason, gossip and speculation move so quickly, twitter, facebook. there might be a lot of downside risk. a company that puts millions of dollars into an ad campaign and has billions in sales riding on it might want to protect themselves a little bit. >> even movie studios or tv networks have a lot riding on their facebook. i'm not saying me, not riding on my face but somebody's maybe. paul, good to see you. thank you. >> thank you. >> that wraps up the hour for us. "it's the economy." i'm contessa brewer.
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>> up next, nebraska's ben nelson the latest senator that may potentially hold the fate of the health care reform bill in his hands. >> buying a way to see exactly what a predator drone does. stay tuned for more on msnbc. somewhere in america, there's a home by the sea powered by the wind on the plains. there's a hospital where technology has a healing touch. there's a factory giving old industries new life. and there's a train that got a whole city moving again.
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a christmas to remember. a do-or-die vote on health care. will president obama get the gift that's been on the top of his wish list since he took office? >> panic in iraq. u.s. predator drone sent a video feed to those controlling on the ground, intercepted with equipment that costs less than $30 bucks. the pentagon engaged in damage
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control. what happened? wide receiver chris henry dies in an accident following a dispute with his fiance. the latest on the accident that led to henry's death, plus reaction from his team. supporting the troops, wwe superstar showing love for the member and women who serve this country. wwe star chris jeerco joins us live. joseph lying in bed with mary with words, "god is a hard act to follow." when it comes to the meaning of christmas, does this cross the line? the big picture starts right now. good afternoon, everybody. good afternoon, tamron. i'm david shuster live in washington. >> hey there, david. i'm tamron hall live in new york. >> breaking news out of brazil. everyone will recall the case involving a possible reunion between a new jersey father and his nine-year-old son. well, this reunion is again on hold. david goldman arrived surrounded by a crush of media.
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he was supposed to regain custody tomorrow. just a few moments ago brazil's supreme court issued a stay on the ruling that was issued yesterday. that means essentially things have been frozen and the dad is not going to get his son as he was thought, at least not today. the son david has spent five years -- the father david has spent five years fighting to regain the custody of his son sean. yesterday a brazilian court ruled he should be returned to his father. his mother took him to brazil in 2004, divorced david and remarried. she died a year later. since then he's been living with his stepfather's family who again success fully got a stay. this case in brazil has not yet been resolved. in other big news, breaking story happening in new york city, these are pictures just coming into msnbc, five people on the upper west side of manhattan shot. our affiliate wnbc confirming two dead, three hurt. these are pictures just coming in to msnbc. the location is 83

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